Tag Archives: #fail

The Social Media (non) Crisis Management of Maison Goyard

This is a story of new (money, culture, technology) smashing into old (quiet, refined, luxury) and what happens when the latter doesn’t understand the former. Those brands whose communications teams are not savvy to the nuances of social media court disaster and entrusting the reputation management of your brand to a junior staff member without critical thinking and strategic depth in their portfolio of skills can lead to a public relations nightmare.  Equally so this about how businesses need to be agile in our always on, 24/7 365 digital world and your five-year plan demands flexibility and responsiveness to what happens on social platforms. This is the paradigm shift, social media now drives the success of your business – in real time.

I watched just an epic fail in the clash of cultures represented by the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards and the 163-year-old French luxury brand Goyard. Perhaps it is their storied history, or the fact that Goyard’s own head of communications is not on Twitter or their (perceived) niche market does not rest with the Wild West of pop music or all three in combination with their Frenchness but when, (quite literally), handed the market expansion opportunity of the century Goyard blew it.

Back Story:

goyard scarfIt started with a scarf, le carre en français, and the globally famous hip-hop artist and entrepreneur DJ Khaled (a major social media influencer with nearly 3m followers on Twitter alone) who loves the Goyard brand (whose Twitter account is less than 10K).

Goyard doesn’t make clothes so Khaled purchased several of their logoed silk scarves and had a bespoke, one-of-a-kind jacket made to wear while he hosted the (globally televised) VMAs, you can’t buy this kind of exposure. Mind you we are talking about dropping at least four and possibly six figures on this jacket, and if you recall Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point DJ Khaled is precisely the type of person that every brand covets to maintain their relevancy with changing market segmentations and to drive their brand and in particular revenue forward.

Unprepared, Goyard’s social media account manager started receiving tweets enquiring about the jacket (and other clothing items such as caps) during the VMA.  Sadly the Goyard replies were rude and frankly insulting (amongst these claiming that the scarf jacket was a fake – now all deleted from their feed).  Despite Goyard’s various tweets (it’s the internet so these live forever), DJ Khaled takes the high road and still promotes Goyard and makes nice publicly.

The PR crisis started on social media but it is still playing out in traditional and web-based media two days later. This ‘live forever’ storyboard has redefined the brand’s reputation with publications as wide-ranging as Melty Style, New York Magazine, Luxury Daily, W Magazine, HipHopDx and the #SoSoShow covering the story. Maison Goyard just learned the hard reality that Twitter’s 313 million active users serve as a powerful force to be reckoned with; ignoring their immediate enquiries or, what’s worse, insulting them they will never forget and absolutely will find somewhere else to spend their money.

Goyard has been building its brand reputation for 163 years but because they failed to keep pace with societal shifts and the use of social platforms they have undone those efforts in mere seconds.  As the creator of a luxury brand, a connoisseur of beautiful things and as a communications professional the Goyard social media fail was painful for me to witness, inexcusable and avoidable. Goyard can take a ‘lessons learned’ and revamp their business with an agility that its heritage precludes and we, as a global audience, are not witnessing and they should be talking to Commarglo about how to rise like a phoenix from this episode.


Le Carre Jacket.png@djkhaled bought a bunch of@goyard


Visit @Commarglo to learn more about online reputation management for your brand.






YOU are NOT nice…

I had to sit on this post for a couple of weeks so it wasn’t so painful. I wanted to publish it to cleanse the karmic energy attached to it. I hope you find value in it – somehow.


Online dating offers few parallels for truly deplorable human behavior in our ‘normal, everyday, lives’. Bad men exist as many women can testify in having an encounter with a truly violent man in the course of their lives, but nothing seems to open the door to rude, depraved, vitriol as the accessibility of IM and messaging systems provided by dating sites.  To date I have had some truly remarkable (and wonderful encounters) with men with no more hidden agenda that what you might encounter in the real world. That expressed I have also met the purported “open relationship” seekers, the “hey, I am looking to push the boundaries of human sexuality because I was married and we never had sex”, the “I am bi-curious but want a threesome” and the “baby, I am far too busy f*cking around to consider anything but casual sex” types.  But perhaps the most loathsome of the men hiding in plain sight is the “I will do and say anything to get my Green Card”.  I recently had the (ahem) pleasure of meeting the latter.

It’s my own fault – really – I take full responsibility. In taking note that a man had visited my profile, with a very high compatibility match of 86%, and who, sadly, was based in Aleppo, Syria I acknowledged him.  There was something about the avatar of “notbadSyrian” and the conflict in Syria which has displaced millions and killed tens of thousands which made my heart ache. The politics involved are way over my head – why any leader of a country would kill his own people when they nearly all worship the same God and pray to the same Prophet makes no sense to me. Innocent people just trying to live from day to day amidst this carnage are shaking their heads at Western ‘powers’ on why intervention is not forthcoming even as none want to relive what their Iraqi neighbors have; the West seems to have its panties in a bunch over making a decision and the rest of us are hoping that when they do they will not actually screw things up any worse than they already are.

So I dropped him a single sentence message wishing him well on his search for love – who doesn’t still look to find love when life is so fragile?  In the West I suppose this is no big deal – and I assumed based upon how many pictures of him existed on his profile with friends in bar scenes in Ireland and elsewhere with multiple women cuddling with him that not only was he a nice guy but also one with decidedly Western leaning tendencies (even though every picture came with a disclaimer that he didn’t drink).  ANYONE, regardless of the politics involved, would rightfully offer compassion when during an IM conversation there had been abrupt ending based upon shooting (we are not talking about drive-by stuff which would be scary enough).  I asked that when he could to simply let me know he was okay. Somehow this was encouragement. For the next morning I woke to find a (modest, and appropriate) picture of him accompanying an email expressing his gratitude for my “warm emotions”.  The nuance of “warm emotions” was not the message I was conveying, so I sent him a note, which attempted to clarify that my concern for his well being was as a fellow member of the human race and not an expressed interest in exploring romance, and naïvely, went onto say that I didn’t fancy men in beards (which is plain as day on my profile for this site), and was keen on making my home in Sweden.  I received a subsequent email asking me to explain further, and I did.

The completely unedited email train followed in rapid succession all with a subject line of-

Re: Listen to me cheap old whore

On 7/19/2013 6:21 AM, fdweq wequy wrote:

I swear i am willing to get married to you even if you were 100 year old , i dream to live in Eruope or USA , no problem i can fuck you 10 or 15 time , till i get my benefits . Bye old whore

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

I have many pictures in my profile , you just wanted to take this picture as a pretext to tell me that .  I swear i have no beard , it is just picture . I swear i did not ask you to be Muslim . I swear to you i did not ask you to stop to drink or eat pork or smoke or sleep with that couple again for threesome . You are the one whore who contacted me , lol , i beg you just look at your body and your face . Bye old prostitute

My only reply: On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM, Teresa Fritschi wrote: WOW, I so never expected to read such ugliness from a man who I had come to respect.

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

Just look at your face whore , you are just a bridge to get benefits .Bye old

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

prostitute , you contacted me because the match was 86 %

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 1:34 PM, fdweq wequy <arabianman39@gmail.com> wrote:

Once more , just fuck off animal whore , i swear to you , you are not more than a bridge to eat good food and get clean clothes and get green card and build wealth , i know you hate Saddam and support war on Iraq . I spit on your face , how many year will you live ? 7 ? you will be 60 . 17 you will 70 Lol Bye old whore

Needless to say I wish I had not extended kindness, that I had his last name for the CIA, FBI and US Immigration and probably Interpol as well. When the shock waves settled I blocked him, reported him to the dating site, forwarded the email string to a friend of mine in California and to an amazing man, born someplace on the Arabian peninsula who lived for an extended period in a refugee camp in Gaza who I also met through the same dating site, with whom I was developing a fondness.

Mohammed’s reaction

Wtf?!?!! Who is this guy? Why is he such a low person?

My response:

I am sobbing Mohammed, I have never been called such things nor been told I was ugly or old, I HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT BEING SINGLE and vulnerable like this. He’s a Syrian man from OKC (notbadsyrian) who I “level set” with that I wasn’t interested in pursuing anything romantic with – I have NO idea why he is such a low person I offered up prayers for his soul and then blocked him

Mohammed’s next email:

I’m really sorry and it’s just such ignorance, stupidity and lack of respect!

I put my arms around you and sending u healing energy.. You are a beautiful, sexy, mature and wonderful goddess.. Who cannot see that-still living in their darkness and have veils on their heart

And mine:

When I read the part about the Green Card and food — OH Mohammed — is this what desperation does to people caught in war zones? Turns them into the worst of humanity? That you came out of this with light in your heart and being is astonishing. Too much pain in me at this moment to physically feel your energy – but I appreciate it intellectually.

I took him the better part of the afternoon but through his Skype messages and the aforementioned emails he helped push my tears away, settle my hurt and get me back on track.  The point to all of this?  I don’t honestly know. It should be funny, but it isn’t.  It’s sad and not because I was insulted that was only hurt, outrage, and pride. It’s sad because of the human desperation and all the ugliness that comes about when people lose hope. For myself it has nothing to do with race or religion as any number of my very diverse friends can attest.  It’s sad that a military man – conveying strength and bravery – could write with such venom.  That despite what is clearly a loathing of America and (at least one of) its women, this 39 year old man living in Syria who wanted to live in the United States – to do what harm?  For the sake of my country I hope to God that never happens because he is a loose cannon and angry, hopeless people do crazy, desperate things.

To order my book, click here:  AllThatINeedbizcardartfront


As children, parents, lovers, friends and employees we engage, learn compromise, encourage, accomplish the benchmarks of life, provide value and, in return, are compensated for our efforts in many different ways. Having recently decided to leave behind authorship and entrepreneurship (and all the solitary nature, long hours, and black hole financial nature entailed) to seek employment again, it is a wonder to me how much has changed in the relationship part of the application and hiring process.

I have listened to friends lament their frustration with ‘business intelligence’ software that is (theoretically) supposed to cherry pick the best candidates from amongst those who are submitting their credentials for a vacancy. Business intelligence software is failing the hiring process, jobs are going unfilled and company reputations are being negatively impacted as a result.  Image(Strong employer branding works in tandem with corporate communications but the underlying systems still need to function properly.)  Some estimates in the United States cite that recruiters and human resources talent managers average a mere 15 seconds per CV for their review; is it any wonder that highly qualified candidates are still unemployed after two years of rigorously applying and interviewing?

More than a year and a half ago a dear friend applied for a senior level position with Mary Kay Cosmetics. S/he was (eventually) shortlisted and a year after initially applying flew to their Dallas headquarters to interview in person.  Six months later – nothing; no one has been hired for the role and not even a blind email distribution communication has been sent, that ‘used to be’ considered rude, today it earns a Twitter #fail.

I just started applying for similar positions in Scandinavia – my experiences to date could not be more different.  For two of the three positions I have applied for in the last fortnight (incredibly) the hiring managers’ name, email and direct phone number (sometimes with hours of availability) have been included in the job description.  One hates to be a ‘bother’ and so for one position I didn’t actually reach out to the woman for fear of seeming a ‘pushy American’ and, with regret, this morning discovered that the company (in less than a week) has already identified their perfect candidate! Whoa. Might a different outcome been realized had only I reached out when the opportunity presented itself?  Yesterday I rose at 3AM EST to grab a shower, have a small breakfast and call the hiring manager at the other company which had provided these details. If I had any expectation it was that I might be given between 10 and 20 minutes of his time – I found myself both apologizing and expressing my gratitude for his goodwill in realizing that we had been chatting for over 45 minutes. This, I should say, was not even an interview! Yes, I certainly believe it was a fact finding mission on both our parts.  Image More importantly, because of his generosity and sincere enthusiasm for his employer I came to recognise that I would be delighted to have this man as my boss as well as work for this company whose culture was made so appealing.

Let’s assume for a moment that some level of discernment is being applied when an individual submits their credentials for consideration; that they are actually at least 85% qualified for the role and the remainder is within our capacity to ‘scale’.  Just as our chemical receptors signal synergy with a potential mate because of our pheromones the hiring process requires a dialogue between two people.  Our human-ness allows for sowing the seeds of a working relationship that will ‘get things done’ as well as be pleasant.  Much as engineers are invaluable to our society I come to doubt the improved efficiencies offered by their ‘coding’ (in this case SEO SaaS) are the answer when so much about working together depends upon the nuance of asking a question, engaged listening, (not) taking another call, (not) texting in the midst of a conversation or in uttering a sigh – in other words, finding mutual respect and building on it. Instead of innovation, maybe corporate America should consider disrupting the hiring process by re-engaging the ‘human’ to human resources functions.


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